Padel History



The first padel court

Mexican businessman Enrique Corcuera set up the first-ever padel court at his holiday home in Acapulco in 1969. He called the sport Paddle Corcuera.


Padel goes International

While visiting Mexico in 1974, Spanish enterpenuer Alfonso de Hohenlohe, a friend of Enrique’s, enjoyed this new game so much that he decided to import it to Spain’s Costa del Sol, where he built the country’s first two padel courts at the Marbella Club.  Today Spain has over 16,000 courts.


Padel arrives in Argentina

Argentine millionaire, Julio Menditenguia brings padel to Argentina. Argentina currently has over 10,000 courts.


The Federation is formed

The International Paddle Federation, FIP, is established as the governing body for the sport and in 1992 the first world championships were held in the dual cities of Madrid and Seville.


Paddle becomes Padel

The Sports Council of Spain recognised paddle as a sport, and changed its spelling to padel for pronunciation purposes in the Spanish language.


The first padel court

Mexican businessman Enrique Corcuera set up the first-ever padel court at his holiday home in Acapulco in 1969. He called the sport Paddle Corcuera

2000 to Present

Padel Explodes in Europe

Padel becomes the second most popular sport in Spain (next to soccer) with over 19,000 courts. It also takes over the Nordic countries like Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. Italy, France, Belgium, Germany, and UK experienced similar growth.


Padel is the fastest growing sport in the world

Throughout Europe, Africa, Aisa, South America, and now North America there are over 35,000 padel courts worldwide. Padel is part of the Euro Games, the Pan Am games, and soon the Olympics.



Lee Sponaugle and Virgil Christian meet

Both were freshmen at Penn State University where they played for highly ranked Nittany Lion tennis team. This may seem incidental in 1986, but 30 years later this relationship and the combination of their contacts would be the backbone for the growth padel to grow in North America.


The first padel court in the US

In Houston, TX at the prestigious Houstonian club, two courts are built. The courts are still there today and are run by Mike May.


The United States Padel Association is formed.

The USPA is formed by Mike May and joins the ITF, the international governing body for padel worldwide.


Lee Sponaugle forms All Racquet Sports

ARS represents the first organized and financially backed effort tasked with growing padel in the USA. At this time only about 20 courts exist in the US, even though the sport has been here for 25 years. A few months after inception, Scott Grote joins the ARS team and is followed shortly after by Marcos Del Pilar. The three would spend the next four years hosting events and exhibitions.


Padel is formally introduced to the US market

ARS sets up a court at the Racket and Padel Conference & PGA Show at the Orlando Convention Center. 60,000 people were able to see the sport for the first time being played by professional international players


PADELphia Opens

Scott Grote collaborates with the Philadelphia Parks and Rec Department to lead the ARS effort and set up two temporary courts on Venice Island in Manayunk. ARS would spend that summer hosing tennis industry leaders from all over the US and introduce them to padel. Unbeknownst to them at the time, the community embraced the courts so much that arrangements were made to have them there permanently.


Courts are installed at the USTA National Campus

Considered the home of American Tennis, National Campus was built in 2007 under direction of Virgil Christian, the USTA Director of Facilities. He works with ARS to get the USTA to embrace padel and eventually gets 4 padel courts installed there.


Lee, Scott, and Marcos leave All Racquet Sports

By 2023 the padel movement has the momentum it needed. Through their efforts, the number of courts in North America has gone from 20 to over 200. They leave to pursue other interests.


The Pro Padel League has its inaugural season.

Marcos Del Pilar organizes and serves as commissioner for the first professional padel league in the USA. Teams from Miami, San Diego, Arkansas, Toronto, and Cancun compete for the title.


Absolute Padel is formed.

Recognizing the need for quality padel courts that are readily available to meet the increasing demand, Scott Grote organizes Absolute Padel, the first company to manufacture and inventory courts in North America. He is joined by Virgil Christian, Scott Focht, and Mike Weller and a national network of court distributors.